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Old December 29th, 2016, 06:48 AM   #2481
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At the end of the day, transit can never work properly in a big metro if it is conceived as a welfare of last resort, to be used mostly by those who cannot by any means get a car.
100% with you on the impact of restrictive zoning and the objective value in maintaining usable systems. It's no wonder buses have such an apparently poor reputation with "choice" riders in America when most cities have little more to work with than a system of last resort, which inevitably looks like buses. So many other systems (and even in Los Angeles -- look at the Orange Line!) have been given far greater conditions to succeed. With luck the new system in the coming decades will have more of a chance to do well than in years past!
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Old December 29th, 2016, 01:28 PM   #2482
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I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of very low income households, not oblivious to their challenges (which are certainly greater than mine), yet I think that leaving parts of a city in purposeful bad shape to create artificial housing is a perverse form of public policy.

Some years ago, I read how the "Bus Riders Union" was threatening to sue LA METRO to prevent it from reorganizing several bus lines around a then-new rail line (I forgot exactly which). They were even trying to get court orders to oblige LA METRO to keep specific bus routes in place, even if they took longer than a combination of bus+rail, under a racially charged argument (that the county was cutting back on routes with 90%+ Hispanic patronage). They framed bus-rail transfers as some form of discrimination even. On their website, they asked for a "rail moratorium", and then talk about some bus utopia with far fewer cars and hundreds of "direct bus routes" heavily subsidized.

At the end of the day, transit can never work properly in a big metro if it is conceived as a welfare of last resort, to be used mostly by those who cannot by any means get a car.
I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to...that sounds shady.

However, I do know that Metro had some social equity/justice issues from its spending on some of the early metro lines. Essentially, it boiled down to the the perception that Metro was raising fares on bus riders, cutting back service, and building heavy rail to/from the [wealthier] suburbs, even as the lion's share of ridership was via bus in minority and low income neighborhoods.

In short, the BRU sued claiming Metro was shortchanging them, and they were pretty much right. The courts intervened and the ensuing injunction forced Metro to make long-term changes to ensure bus riders were not ignored. That injunction ended, recently, however, which may be where your above anecdote comes from.

However, it was really more nuanced than the Union presented: a good share of funding from Prop. A (and possibly C, but I can't recall) included large amounts of funding to freeze bus fares and improve service. To say nothing of the fact that these bond measures - and the spending they would support - were voted on by voters, county-wide. Also, the Blue Line was wildly successful and served the very communities who were later painted to be dissolved by Metro's new rail projects.

Nonetheless the basic result, from the 80s to the early 90s was that a large share of capital expenditure was going towards rail which had a much smaller, wealthier ridership, overall, than buses.

I'm sure you might already be familiar with this, but what DCUrbanist hit at and what I'm also pointing out, is that the idea implicit is that bus service needs to be prioritized at least as much as rail, if not more. I feel you also said as much in your earlier post: it shouldn't be the mode of 'last resort,' but it will always be if it's treated as less important than - as opposed to equal with - rail.

This may not necessarily be true, anymore, and of course Metro made the correct priority, but it did come at the expense of bus service.

The public's feelings about rail being tied with gentrification are analogous to those same fears being tied to high rise/dense development: they're attacking a symptom rather than the root cause.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 07:00 PM   #2483
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In a city like Los Angeles I don't know if their arguments are very valid. Los Angeles is such a big city there is a genuine need for rail. And not every bus route that serves low density suburban destinations can be economically viable, sometimes the needs of many outweigh that of the few.

Houston succeeded in rationalizing its bus system recently, while there was pushback it has been a success. A blog I read made a good argument that most of the issues with reducing the number of local bus routes could be resolved by investing in sidewalks and incentivizing apartment complex and shopping center owners to move entryways and gates to make walking more convenient. People can walk a bit longer distances if it is safe and direct, running a circuitous bus route is expensive.

Of course one city where a similar debate took place and that side won was in San Antonio in 2000 when there was a referendum for light rail. San Antonio is a sprawling, low density city not particularly urban outside of downtown and it is unlikely a light rail system would ever be used to its full capacity and would require a huge subsidy to operate. On the other hand, San Antonio has an extensive bus system and is a very working class city with a lot of neighborhoods that need the mobility buses provide. Buses were the right fit for the city because they provide the low-moderate capacity that was needed.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 07:27 PM   #2484
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Quote:
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Houston succeeded in rationalizing its bus system recently, while there was pushback it has been a success.
Is that true?

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news...r-10801459.php
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Old December 29th, 2016, 08:49 PM   #2485
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At the end of the day, transit can never work properly in a big metro if it is conceived as a welfare of last resort, to be used mostly by those who cannot by any means get a car.
Can I agree with this 10x?
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Old December 29th, 2016, 09:36 PM   #2486
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There were both tribalist (Iranians vs Mexicans/blacks) as well as safety (underground methane explosions) concerns related to the late 20th-century bans on underground subway construction in the Westside/Beverly.
If safety was the concern, singling out subway alone makes no sense at all, and so doesn't an outright ban instead of increased safety measures.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 08:02 AM   #2487
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Old December 30th, 2016, 11:45 AM   #2488
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
In a city like Los Angeles I don't know if their arguments are very valid. Los Angeles is such a big city there is a genuine need for rail. And not every bus route that serves low density suburban destinations can be economically viable, sometimes the needs of many outweigh that of the few.
Again...the point was that they were cutting back on bus service because of budgetary issues even as they were spending on rail projects.

That was the crux of their problem. Despite including a good deal of funds in Prop. A, I don't think they maintained that balance well, or communicated what the eventual network would look like.

Obviously, the rail system emerging now, looks quite different than in the 80s/early 90s.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 02:52 PM   #2489
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Take a flyover tour of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail

Construction on the Crenshaw/LAX Line is underway right now, tunneling under parts of Los Angeles to create a new 8.5-mile long rail line that will bring eight new Metro stations to South LA and Inglewood and an eventual link to Los Angeles International Airport[...]
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Old December 30th, 2016, 05:24 PM   #2490
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"Metro Clarifies the Future of an Arts District Subway Extension"

Rumors of the proposed 6th Street Station's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

http://urbanize.la/post/metro-clarif...bway-extension
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Old January 2nd, 2017, 02:16 PM   #2491
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2016: two rail openings, bike share, a ballot measure and a very busy year for Metro


http://thesource.metro.net/2016/12/2...ear-for-metro/

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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:51 AM   #2492
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$1.6 billion in federal funding secured for Purple Line Extension’s second phase

BY DAVE SOTERO , JANUARY 4, 2017

http://thesource.metro.net/2017/01/0...-second-phase/

A federal grant and loan totaling nearly $1.6 billion to help build the second phase of the Metro Purple Line Extension to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City was announced today by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Metro.

The details:

•The money is for the 2.6-mile second phase of the Purple Line Extension that will run between Wilshire/La Cienega Station and Century City. Two stations are included in the second section: Wilshire/Rodeo in downtown Beverly Hills and Century City at the corner of Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard.

•The first section of the Purple Line Extension is under construction and will run for 3.9 miles between Wilshire/Western Station and Wilshire/La Cienga with stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. It’s expected to take about 11 minutes for the subway to travel from its current terminus at Wilshire/Western to Century City Station.

•The $1.187-billion federal grant for section two is from the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program, which helps local transit agencies build big capital projects.

•The $307-million loan is from the U.S. DOT’s TIFIA program that provides low-interest loans to help build infrastructure projects.

•The subway project is also receiving $169 million through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.

•Funding for the second phase includes $747 million from the Measure R half-cent sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. Section two is expected to cost about $2.4 billion to build. Bottom line: without the Measure R funds, Metro would almost certainly not have received the federal funding.

•Metro is now in the process of selecting a contractor to build the subway extension’s second phase. The agency plans to recommend a contractor to the Metro Board later this month.

•Pre-construction activities — including utility work relocation — for the second phase are already underway. Major construction is planned to begin in 2018.

•Completion of the second subway section is anticipated no later than 2026 per the agreement Metro has in place with the FTA. But Metro is aiming to finish the project by 2024 before a potential Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, said Metro CEO Phil Washington at the event Wednesday.

•A third and final section will extend the subway to the Westwood/VA Hospital. Construction on this section — with funding from the recently approved Measure M sales tax — is planned to begin as early as 2019.

•Construction of the Purple Line Extension will support over 25,000 jobs in the Southern California area during its construction, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

•The Purple Line Extension to the Westwood/VA Hospital station is forecast to generate about 49,300 daily weekday boardings at the seven new stations. There will be about 78,000 new daily trips on the full Metro Rail System as a result of opening this line.

•A total of $3.1 billion in federal New Starts funding has now been secured for recent Metro transportation projects, including $1.25 billion for the first section of the subway and $670 million for the Regional Connector. These grants would not have been possible without Metro also having local funding from the Measure R sales tax.

•Trains are expected to run every four minutes during peak hours on the Purple Line Extension and every 10 minutes during off-peak times. The Metro Board last month approved a contract for new subway vehicles to help support the line and the agency is also working on a project that will allow subway trains to turn around more quickly at Union Station, thereby increasing capacity on the line.

•Over 300,000 people travel into the Westside every day for work from throughout the region. More than 100,000 trips also leave the area for outside destinations. The Purple Line extension will offer improved connectivity to the entire Metro Bus and Rail network, as well as transfers to municipal bus lines and other regional transportation services.

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Old January 6th, 2017, 09:35 AM   #2493
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L.A. Metro map designed in the style of the 1970s New York Subway map



http://transitmap.net/post/155397287...etro-mccormick
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Old January 6th, 2017, 10:38 AM   #2494
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Is there any chance of MTA acquiring transit jurisdiction over Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties and expanding rail/subway service there? In other others, making the MTA the sole transit agency of the entire Los Angeles metroplex area?
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Old January 6th, 2017, 11:09 PM   #2495
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Quote:
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Is there any chance of MTA acquiring transit jurisdiction over Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties and expanding rail/subway service there? In other others, making the MTA the sole transit agency of the entire Los Angeles metroplex area?
Better chance of you winning the lottery twice in a row while being struck by lightning.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 02:48 PM   #2496
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Are there concrete plans to take the Purple line all the way to the ocean?
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Old January 7th, 2017, 04:52 PM   #2497
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I'm pretty sure there were at one point. What happened, I'm not sure.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:45 PM   #2498
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Are there concrete plans to take the Purple line all the way to the ocean?
As of now the only concrete plans are to Westwood/VA. I think the original vision was to have a metro line to the sea, but perhaps the Expo Line has now put that on a back burner.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 06:16 AM   #2499
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The Purple line was planned to go only to the area around the VA Hospital, not beyond, as far as I have seen. It was the subway "towards" the sea. It makes sense to eventually go all the way the the Pacific, someday. Also, the original Red line was to travel East into East Los Angeles - but was canceled. The Red line stops in downtown. The Gold line now replaces the East LA service.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 07:05 AM   #2500
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Yeah, these were the plans fo the Subway to the Sea. It got messy with cities like Beverly Hills opposing it and costs skyrocketed. It will eventually get there...slowly.

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